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Patients Push Limits For Clues To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Friday 10 January 2020


From STAT:


Zach Ault
Zach Ault retrieves bottled water through air-locked hatch
inside a "metabolic chamber" at the NIH in Bethesda, Md.
The airtight room allows scientists to measure how much
oxygen is used and carbon dioxide is exhaled to figure out
how much energy Ault's body is is using.
(Photo: Federica Narancio / AP)

Patients push limits for clues to chronic fatigue syndrome

By Associated Press
January 8, 2020
© 2020 STAT.

BETHESDA, Md. — Researchers hooked Zach Ault to medical monitors as he slowly climbed onto a gym bike. An invisible disease is sidelining this once avid athlete and he knew the simple exercise would wipe him out — but Ault was pedaling for science.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is one of medicine’s most vexing mysteries. Now doctors at the National Institutes of Health are using volunteers like Ault for a unique study that pushes their limits in search of what’s stealing all their energy.

“I’ve tried to exercise my way out of this multiple times and I’ve put myself in deeper pits every time,” said Ault, 36, of Paducah, Kentucky, as he began a nearly two-week stint at the research-only hospital outside the nation’s capital.

“Chronic fatigue is kind of like they took the stopper out of the energy reserve tank,” and no amount of sleep replenishes it, he said.


Full article…



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